Memphis Charities Hope To Avoid The Fiscal Cliff

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(Memphis) At MIFA headquarters on Vance Avenue, the season of giving at this social services agency could be met with a political Grinch if America goes off the so-called fiscal cliff.        

Dianne Polly is vice-president of Compliance and Community Relations at MIFA, "We are really concerned that if do have the fiscal cliff, which are the automatic cuts that affect MIFA and many of our programs will suffer. If the charitable tax deduction goes away or is capped, we think that will affect most non-profits and that's non-profits dealing with infants to seniors."   

MIFA is known for its housing and teen programs and Meals on wheels.

It's believed going over the fiscal cliff would mean 17 million fewer meals would be served nationwide.

"It could hurt a lot of people, a lot of frail and elderly for that program and if you have people who can't give to charities and that's going to affect every program," Polly said.             

It's possible the tax deduction for charitable giving could be capped next year causing more people to hold onto to their money during the financial uncertainty.

Captain Jonathan Rich heads the Salvation Army in Memphis, "If people have less disposable income, there's a lot less that will go to charities."         

He knows many Salvation Army programs would take a direct hit.

"We are concerned that if this doesn't get worked out it could impact the way we serve Memphians," Rich said.          

It's why charities are hoping the feud between the President and Republican leaders can be resolved to avoid going off the fiscal cliff, especially around the holidays.

"We need both sides talking so that we come up with a compromise so that these devastating results won't happen," Polly said.

Polly suggest people contact their lawmakers and tell them they want the dispute worked out.

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